If you grew up watching your dad do cool stuff in IT like Thomas Nash, you might buy into data science early on. Or, you might just stumble into it. Either way, if you choose this major, you’ll be getting involved in the country’s first undergraduate program in this rapidly developing field.
Thomas had no background in computer science when he first heard about the College’s data science program. Still, it grabbed him. “I enjoy math, problem solving and computers, so when I learned that this program combines those, I said ‘This sounds awesome. I can take this major wherever I want. I can make it work for me.’”
Thomas took a programming class his first semester. “I was so nervous. I was thinking ‘how am I going to make it in a degree where I have no idea what I’m doing.’ But I realized that I could do this; I could learn new programming skills. I ended up loving that class, and discovered early on that this is what I want to do.”
These days, Thomas doesn’t just study data science, he’s contributing to the field as well. “I work in the College’s IT department as a student network engineer, and I also conduct research for the data science program, which focuses on developing and refining an open source software program called Learn2Mine. It’s essentially a data mining teaching tool that helps introduce students to data mining techniques.” His work has been partially supported by Boeing South Carolina, which named him a Boeing Scholar each of the past two years.
Thomas traveled to Lithuania to present Learn2Mine at a conference. Along with two other students and a professor, he also traveled to New York City for another conference. “We visited several tech companies there and came away with great insight into the industry. Because our professor is well connected, it was an exceptional networking opportunity. Now, whether I go on to work in cybersecurity, the aerospace industry or for a local startup, I know I’ll have a strong background, and continue to have great support from my professors.”
Graduates from our program – the first of its kind in the U.S. for undergraduates – are prepared for high-paying jobs and graduate programs. They learn to use the tools and problem-solving skills of mathematics and computer science to gather information from large, multidimensional data sets, data streams and complex systems. Whether you plan to crunch numbers for the sports analytics, precision medicine or analyze user data for Google, you’ll get the required background here.
❱❱ We offer 14 areas of specialization.
❱❱ You can work in faculty research labs.
❱❱ Career opportunities exist in all areas of industry, government and business.